At the buy.at gig an affiliate (I think it was Nick Smith from Freestuff.co.uk) asked me “why aren’t your sites beautiful”? My answer was that “I want to get people in and out as quickly as possible!”
This is my view of what people want these days. Now Jakob Nielson shares my view.
Nick said to me that I seem to replicate the same template through-out my sites and then just write loads and loads of content – a virtually completely accurate summary of my strategy.
I reassessed what I was doing about 2 1/2 years ago. I looked at my strengths and weakneses. I know I can design nice sites but it’ll take me 3 / 4 times longer than most to do this. I also realised that I hate updating sites with links. I also knew that I love writing content and giving my thoughts about stuff to people.
I then found Blogger and worked out how to make them look half-decent and perform well in the search engines.
But the main reason is content not only allows you to offer the search engines websites that they like but the textual part allows you to drop links in that people follow as I knew visitors are turning off from image ads.
Its now got to the situation that about 90% of my income is from editorially given text links. The other 10% is made of Adsense, banners and other stuff.
So if you’ve got sites really think about how quickly you can get what traffic you do get then really think about how you can convert page impressesions to validated commissions. Work out which link placements get more clicks, establish if using keywords such as “best”, “great”, “offers”, “deals” etc next to those links encourage people to click and put them in a more “buying” frame of mind”.
I’d thoroughly recommend the “Landing Page Optimisation” Handbook From Marketing Sherpa. It may be a few quid but it’s well worth it!!! There are subtle changes that you can make which will result in fairly substantial massive increases in commissions.
Go to town on your content, think hard about how you’re actually going to get visitors to take actions you want. Don’t simply right some “stuff” and “whack some banners” on. You’ll make more writing content and carefully selecting links and anchor text.